The Stag Beetle is a family of beetles in the family Lucanidae. There are approximately 1200 species in this family, which range in size from 5cm to 12cm and are present across the world, usually in areas where there is warm loose soil.
Appearance & Behavior
The feature of the stag beetle which most people might recognize is the large mandibles from which they get their name. However, these are only present in the males, who use them to wrestle in competition for the best mating sites. Females also have mandibles and, though smaller, they are more powerful. Therefore, the best way to identify the stag beetle is by its shiny dark exoskeleton and bulky body.
The stag beetle lives entirely underground during its larval stage and eats only rotting wood. As an adult, it will eat very little, and its diet will consist only of rotting fruit juice and sap.
Stag Beetle Facts
- Stag beetles have many predators, including small mammals, other insects, birds, amphibians, and lizards.
- In the UK, the only species of stag beetle is known as The Stag Beetle, Lucanus Cervus.
- Stag Beetles live for five to seven years, with all but the last year or two spent underground as a larva.
- Female stag beetles lay clutches of about 30 or so eggs in dead wood or nearby soil—the eggs hatch after about three weeks.